Thank you, God, for thick, warm socks on crisp winter days.
Thank you for the smell of pine needles,
for the taste of a juicy orange,
for packages delivered in trucks,
and colourful lights dancing in the dark.
Thank you for the poignant pleasures
of unpacking Christmas ornaments,
and looking at photos from years gone by.
We are hanging on to thankfulness so tight this year,
because there are too many griefs that keep us up at night.
Will you be with us through this season of waiting?
Keep us safe as we wait for a vaccine,
and give godspeed to those who are rolling it out.
Bring comfort to all the homes who will celebrate Christmas
in a bittersweet way because there are too many empty chairs.
This season is particularly hard for those families touched by death.
We wonder about this world of yours,
and this cycle of life and loss…sometimes it is too hard.
Be near to those who struggle with depression and anxiety,
because loneliness is more lonely at Christmas
and grief is more grievous.
We want this Christmas to be memorably generous.
As we open our wallets to support food banks and shelters,
as we call or write relatives we haven’t seen in ages,
as we drop off soup or cookies for neighbours and friends,
we are so thankful that we have the means to give.
Even if our smiles are masked, we can give a kind word in the grocery line.
This advent, help us to let go of old grudges that clog up our lives.
Yes, people have been mean, and they’ve hurt us dreadfully.
Give us a glimpse of what it would look like to loosen our fingers
from the pain we clutch so tightly. Can you bring healing even here?
We want to experience new birth this Christmas,
your presence newborn in us.
Immanuel, God with us.
We are waiting.